MrExcel Publishing
Your One Stop for Excel Tips & Solutions

The History of the MrExcel.com Advertising Character


This is Bubba.

Bubba
Bubba

Bubba is an expert at Excel.

He solves your problems really quickly.

The solutions that he generates save you time. Bubba's record: He took a process that required 40 hours per month and replaced it with two button clicks and 4 minutes.

Our clients are THRILLED and EXCITED and AMAZED when we provide our solutions.

Our projects always have lightning fast ROI. That record-setting project paid for itself in 4 minutes.

So, Bubba was designed to both look amazed/excited and to connotate speed. We solve your problems quickly. The applications run quickly and save you time. They pay for themselves quickly. Our customers are AMAZED to learn that Excel can be automated. Bubba is a passionate and excitable guy. You should hear him speak about the possibilities of Excel. Bubba looks kind of like an X, and his feet seem to be made out of an L. So, bubba is an X-L guy - an XL guy who knows a lot about Excel.

From our launch in 1998 through early 2002, our logo was this stylized text, with no mascot:

MrExcel Logo 1998-2002
MrExcel Logo 1998-2002

Bubba was born in the spring of 2002. He came out of Minx Design in Akron, Ohio. Some early versions of Bubba had him tossing numbers around.

MrExcel Logo 2002 with Bubba
MrExcel Logo 2002 with Bubba

Another version was the first to introduce the excitement beads, although I thought the orange made them look like stress instead of amazement, so they later became green

Green Bubba
Green Bubba

In this version, Bubba's head was the dot in MrExcel-dot-com. For a long time, I thought he was headless.

Bubba's Head
Bubba's Head

Those last two versions of Bubba merged into this one:

Bubba changes
Bubba changes

After some re-coloring, Bubba was born. Bill in Akron called him "the X-L guy". Scott in Philly started calling him Bubba.

Bubba was born
Bubba was born

Bubba's first appearance was on a t-shirt and then the koozie:

Bubba on a t-shirt
Bubba on a t-shirt
Bubba on a koozie
Bubba on a koozie

In July 2002, there was a Contest to Name Bubba. The winning entry was Max Cell. There is even a section on the board called Max Cell's Lounge where people can drop in to chat or tell jokes.

For the MrExcel Christmas Card in 2002, Bubba donned a Santa Claus suit:

Bubba on Christmas Card
Bubba on Christmas Card

Recently, to promote the Power User Bundle, Bubba showed off his weightlifting ability:

Bubba with Power User Bundle
Bubba with Power User Bundle

Thanks to flash animation and Scott in Philly, Bubba has been running around some of our banner ads:

He graces the top of every web page, although when he appears on the page, his colors are a bit muted.

Bubba in the top logo
Bubba in the top logo

He graces business cards, envelopes, stationary, t-shirts, book covers, can koozies, mugs, pens, frisbees, a clock.

So, while Bubba is showing his versatility, he is pretty stiff. He's a 2-dimensional guy. Sometimes you get a little bit of a drop shadow to make him stand out, but he is still pretty 2D. I wonder if he ever gets tired of having his arms up all the time? The poor guy has no hands. All of his advertising characters forefathers always had hands. Bubba is handless. Bubba needs to be able to walk up to Wally and Asok in the comic pages and point to the Excel screen. He needs to be able to touch the keyboard. He would have to program on his knees with his hands up in the air like that.

Bubba update! Bubba's health and well-being are a major concern. Although he is versatile and can do amazing things...we do not want Bubba on his knees. Bubba took some R & R and had a makeover. He was much improved and shows here his new vitality.

Bubba with Charts and Graphs book
Bubba with Charts and Graphs book

However, some thought Bubba looked somewhat like a "buff" waiter in disguise. So, we sent him on another makeover to transform him into the best he can be to continue to perform unbelievable tasks in Excel. Bubba now looks like this.

Bubba the Great
Bubba the Great

For a fascinating look at advertising characters for many brands over the last 100 years, check out Meet Mr Product – The Art of the Advertising Character.


Bill Jelen is the author / co-author of
Excel Dynamic Arrays Straight to the Point

The new Dynamic Array Functions are just one side-effect of an effort to completely rewrite the Calculation Engine in Excel. Joe McDaid and the rest of the CALC team have the laid the groundwork for all future functions in Excel. Yes, the first crop of SORT, SORTBY, FILTER, UNIQUE, SEQUENCE and RANDARRAY are awesome and powerful, but they are just the first of many new functions that will come to Office 365 over the coming years.